J.K. Rowling finally explains nutty Harry Potter Quidditch scoring

Yeah, it all makes sense now. Sort of.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Harry reaches for the snitch in the first Harry Potter movie.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Quidditch, the high-flying, broom-based game from Harry Potter , has long baffled fans. Sure, it's exciting, but the game's scoring system is a head-scratcher. 

Fortunately, author J.K. Rowling showed up to explain it to all of us after a fan tweeted her Tuesday with the message "the scoring system of quidditch makes zero sense." 

Here's the issue with Quidditch. As with most sports, each team wants to score more points than the other. To do that, you can rack up goals worth 10 points each, or your designated seeker can catch an elusive winged ball called the Snitch to earn a whopping 150 points. 

Catching the all-important Snitch ends the game. But if your team is down more than 150 points, you have no incentive to catch the Snitch. Plus, the seeker seems to be more important than just about anybody else on the field of play. It may still be simpler than cricket, but it's pretty confusing to us muggles.

Rowling, however, says the scoring system makes total sense. 

"There's glamour in chasing an elusive lucky break, but teamwork and persistence can still win the day," Rowling writes on Twitter. "Everyone's vulnerable to blows of fate and obstructive people, and success means rising above them. Quidditch is the human condition. You're welcome."

So there you go. Quidditch is life. Sometimes it's not fair and you have to rise to the challenge. And sometimes, if you're lucky, you're Harry Potter and you catch the Snitch and win the day.

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